New Delhi: The value of exports of defence items including major items in FY 2014-15 and 2020-21 was Rs 1,940.64 crore and Rs 8,434.84 crore respectively, Rajya Sabha was told December 13.
Responding to questions, Minister of State for Defence, Ajay Bhatt said many reforms and steps have been taken to boost Defence exports and enhance ease of doing business during the last five years.
In response to another question, he said a total of 1,77,654 women have applied for the National Defence Academy (NDA) and the necessary infrastructure and facilities for training of female candidates are in place. Medical standards have been notified in the UPSC notification. Physical standards will be finalized before commencement of training. There was no restriction on the number of female applicants who could apply for 2021 National Defence Academy Examination.
The Government has taken several policy initiatives and brought reforms to promote self-reliance in defence manufacturing. These policy initiatives are aimed at encouraging indigenous design, development and manufacture of defence equipment in the country, thereby reducing dependency on imports in long run, the Minister said.
The Rajya Sabha was told that 37 projects costing Rs 191,19,28,932/- have been awarded to various industries specially MSMEs and start-ups under Technology Development Fund (TDF) scheme since its implementation. The total fund of Rs 28,51,45,680/- has been released to various Developing Agencies (DA) till date.
In response to another question, the Minister said the Government of Maharashtra forwarded a request letter for establishing a defence corridor in Maharashtra. It is, however, reiterated that the two defence corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are intended to provide a fillip to strengthening the defence manufacturing ecosystem in India including all States.
India is committed to safeguarding maritime interests and strengthening security in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) to ensure a favourable and positive maritime environment, the Minister said.
He said India remains committed to promoting a free, open and rules-based order, rooted in international law and undaunted by coercion. India also supports freedom of navigation and over flight, and unimpeded commerce based on the principles of international law, reflected notably in the ‘United Nations’ Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982. As a State Party to the UNCLOS, India promotes utmost respect for the UNCLOS, which establishes the international legal order of the seas and oceans.
He said India develops its maritime cooperation with regional partners in consonance with the Government’s vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR). The steps taken include ‘Mission based Deployments’ of Indian Naval Ships and aircraft to enhance Maritime Domain Awareness, promote maritime security and address contingencies that may arise. India proactively engages with regional and extra regional maritime forces through multilateral exercises, joint surveillance, coordinated patrols etc. to promote maritime security in the region in an inclusive and cooperative manner.